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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007
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Mast Step Leak- Ranger 33

I own a Ranger 33 that is leaking water through the Mast Step. We do not have plans on pulling the boat till late fall or next spring. Does anyone have any suggestiosn on a temporary fix to the leak since it is rotting bulkhead that seperates the main cabin and the head.

Note: The Mast compresson post has no rot or deteriation.

Any suggestions will be appreciated on how best to replace the bulk head as well.

Thanks

FOF
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Old 07-16-2007
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Not sure exactly where in the step it is leaking, but whenever I find water ingress, I go to large lengths to stop it as quickly as possible. I would duct tape plastic sheeting around the mast and the deck surrounding the mast step to ensure no matter where exactly it is getting in, that it will be protected from the rain. Is the leak coming from inside the mast? Is it coming from around the outside of the mast?

If water is getting in from under the base of the mast via the inside of the mast, I don't know a good way to stop this without unstepping it.

Basically, do whatever you have to do to stop the water coming in...

I'm sure you knew that already though.

Sorry I can't be of more help. I suppose a clearer description of how the water is getting in will help in getting a more specific answer.
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Old 07-16-2007
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On most boats with a compression post, there are fasteners going through the deck which connect the compression post with the deck-top mast step. That is one possible place it could be leaking. Another problem may be that the leak is actually elsewhere and it is flowing along the overhead and coming out at the mast compression post, which may be the lowest point of the overhead.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Thasnk

I will check that. The rot I have seen is the upper corner of the bulkhead next to the compression post. It is pretty deteriorated.

Can I remove the bulkhead without comprimising the integrity of the vessel to see exaclty where the leak is coming in from? or do I need to demast the boat first. I was told by a surveyor that the bulkhead is non structural except for the one chainplate that is attached to it, and it could be removed and repalced with new marine plywood and a new teak veneer glued overtop.

Ideas?
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Old 07-17-2007
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If the bulkhead is not structural, then by all means, remove it and replace it. This is a fair amount of work, but you really need to inspect the fasteners that come through the cabintop, including the chainplates, and make sure all are properly sealed. While you're doing this, it would probably be a good idea to properly pot all of the cabintop fastener holes, with thickened epoxy, and then re-bed all of the chainplates and such.

Personally, I would take the mast down, so that I could remove the cabintop mounted mast step/foot and check the deck underneath it, pot the fasteners for it and then re-bed it. That way, you shouldn't have to worry about it rotting for a good long time.

I would also reinforce the bulkhead where the chainplates attach, and use a backing plate to help support the chainplates. If you remove the chainplates to re-bed them, it is probably also worthwhile to inspect them for crevice corrosion...and if they are at all suspect... you should probably replace them.
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Old 07-18-2007
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R33 leaking mast step

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendsonFire
I own a Ranger 33 that is leaking water through the Mast Step.
My R33 originally had several cables (steaming, masthead, spreader lights and antenna coax) penetrating the mast step fitting. No matter how much caulk, it leaked. Seven or eight years ago I completely revised that -- pulled all new wiring, sealed existing penetrations, and then led all cables in a sealed bundle out of the mast about 6" above deck and through one of those rubber/nylon compression fittings. No leaks.

This was a major project, but I took the opportunity to do many other things (relead halyards internally among other things). Glad I did it.
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Old 07-19-2007
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Thanks everyone for your reply's and suggestions.

Thanks everyone for your reply's and suggestions.
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Old 07-29-2007
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mast leak

Hi, just wanted to give you a different idea. I think a good way to address your structural issues is to convert to a tabernacle mast. A proper mast step/tabernacle bracket will distribute compression load better than original. And your undamaged compression post will take care of the rest. I believe that particular part of your bulkhead isn't so critical (right next to comp. post), so I would just sand it flat and put new veneer over the existing bulkhead. You might have to remove and reinstall the chain-plate to properly cover the repair. If you go this route, don't forget to have the bracket maid with "wings" that have holes so you can attach blocks and run your running rigging aft. This is no easy solution, but these improvements will ease your sailing and maintenance. Also, this will increase the resale value, in an unlikely chance of you ever selling your Ranger 33. Good luck.
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